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Abstract
Drug poisoning deaths have more than doubled in the United States since 2000 with fentanyl and fentanyl analogues primarily responsible for the jump in opioid deaths. Robust data indicate a convincing correlation between the exposure of the fetus to other labor medications (morphine, pethidine hydrochloride, barbiturates, phenobarbitone, meperidine, and secobarbital) and the later addiction of young adults to the same category of drug. We present the hypothesis that this effect is also true of the opioid, fentanyl: there is a causal relationship between the increased popularity of fentanyl as a labor anesthetic in the United States since the 1980’s and the current epidemic of fentanyl abuse.
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